Can Science Reverse-Engineer the Human Brain?

Changing how we think of the brain may provide novel insights into how it actually works. By mapping larger patterns in brain biology, scientists could imitate the processes with machines. 

Can Science Reverse-Engineer the Human Brain?

What's the Latest Development?


At present, the brain seems to many scientists a thing shrouded in ever-deepening mysteries. Our best attempts to understand how consciousness is created through non-conscious elements have led to niche analyses that seem to lose sight of larger goals. Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes our reductionist approach is working in the wrong direction. Rather than measure each tiny part of the brain's biology, we should study the patterns the brain produces as a whole. In this way, we can recreate the brain's smaller parts, thereby reverse-engineering the brain, without understanding exactly what they are. 

What's the Big Idea?

At the heart of Kurzweil's argument is the assertion that the trend of exponential technological development will allow for the creation of ever-more sophisticated scientific tools. That, however, is anything but guaranteed. Still, attempts to reverse-engineer the brain could "open the door to all sorts of significant innovations, such as the design of a computer that thinks more like us. This could be the springboard from which to make that leap." Once computers that simulate our brain our completed, they could be used to greatly augment our natural capacities to learn and understand. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Keep reading Show less

Americans under 40 want major reforms, expanded Supreme Court

Younger Americans support expanding the Supreme Court and serious political reforms, says new poll.

Demonstrators In Louisville calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.

Credit: Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Americans under 40 largely favor major political reforms, finds a new survey.
  • The poll revealed that most would want to expand the Supreme Court, impose terms limits, and make it easier to vote.
  • Millennials are more liberal and reform-centered than Generation Z.
Keep reading Show less

Can fake news help you remember real facts better?

A 2020 study published in the journal of Psychological Science explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.

Credit: Rawpixel.com on Shutterstock
Mind & Brain
  • In 2019, researchers at Stanford Engineering analyzed the spread of fake news as if it were a strain of Ebola. They adapted a model for understanding diseases that can infect a person more than once to better understand how fake news spreads and gains traction.
  • A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
  • "These findings demonstrate one situation in which misinformation reminders can diminish the negative effects of fake-news exposure in the short term," researchers on the project explained.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast